- Koome dismissed the letter by Azimio to ICC calling for a probe into the alleged police excesses witnessed during the anti-government protests.
- His comments come hot on the heels of remarks by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who said the government would protect Koome from intimidation by the opposition.
Inspector General Japheth Koome on Sunday said he will not be intimidated by Azimio’s letter to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition leaders have asked the Hague-based court to launch investigations into the conduct of the police boss during their anti-government demonstrations.
Koome dismissed the letter by Azimio to ICC calling for a probe into the alleged police excesses witnessed during the anti-government protests.
Azimio's legal representative Paul Mwangi wants the ICC prosecutor to open a file on Koome over what the coalition describes as “his express orders to police to kill and maim opposition protestors."
Speaking at his home in Kamulu, Kangundo on the outskirts of Nairobi, Koome asserted that he will not cower from administering his duty to Kenyans and he will not be intimidated by the letter.
“I will not be intimidated by the letter,” Koome said as he told police officers not to be intimidated.
Koome urged his officers to discharge their duties without fear even as Azimio asked the court’s prosecutor to investigate the National Police Service for violations of human rights during recent demonstrations.
“I want to tell members of the National Police Service, do not be intimidated by the letter. Serve our country, the Kenyan people and foreign visitors without fear,” he said.
Koome said police officers took an oath to serve the country without fear or favour.
“We don't have another country to serve but Kenya. We will do our job,” he said.
His comments come hot on the heels of remarks by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who said the government would protect Koome from intimidation by the opposition.
Gachagua accused the opposition of trying to intimidate and harass Koome for doing his job.
Azimio has documented what it termed as crimes committed by the state during the demos, singling out Koome as the main culprit.
It listed at least nine people killed by police during the protests last month.
In the letter, Azimio accuses Koome of committing eight serious crimes.
The coalition claims that the police IG established a special squad of rogue police officers to unleash terror on its supporters during the demos.
"The squads are reported to be dressed in plain clothes, to operate outside the normal command structure and to take direction directly from select commanders appointed for that purpose by Japheth Koome," Azimio said.
The coalition also said that Koome abrogated the constitutional rights of its members by unconstitutionally and illegally banning the demos.
Azimio added that the police IG threatened its members with death and physical injury should they attempt to exercise the said rights.
Koome said the letter is just mere "propaganda" being pushed by a politician who has personal interests.
He further claimed that the letter is tribally motivated, arguing that the same happened to the former head of Public Service Francis Muthaura, who was taken to ICC on accusations of fuelling violence after the 2007 election.
"That letter is being incited by a certain politician. It started with Muthaura, he was taken there and now it is me. Why are they targeting Meru people? Let us stop this tribal matters," Koome said.
Azimio says it took the decision to write to the ICC since Kenya is a party to the Rome Statute signed on August 11, 1999, and ratified it on March 15, 2005.
Kenyan officials including President William Ruto and his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta have previously been tried before the ICC.
(Edited by Tabnacha O)